Name: Timothy Komada
Company: Deep Fork Capital
Position: Managing Partner
Panel: Who's Next? The M&A Panel (Thurs. Mar. 4, 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.). More info at Billboardevents.com.

At this moment in time, what most worries you about the music business?
Timothy Komada: What worries me most is the reluctance of most traditional music industry stakeholders to conform their business practices and monetization techniques to consumers’ preferred modes of consumption — modes of consumption by which their very nature are largely catalyzed and altered by technological innovation.

What most encourages you?
What encourages me most is that consumers vote with their wallets and actions and, thus, there will never be a lack of innovative startups that seek to enable, capture and monetize consumers’ interest in music.

What's the last album you bought?
"Sigh No More" by Mumford & Sons.

What's the most important lesson you've learned while navigating your way through the recession?
The recession has reinforced the truism that hope is not a substitute for an economically feasible business model and that cash efficiency is a hallmark of a great operator in any macroeconomic environment — good or bad.

Fill in the blank: Money is the ______________.
Money is the (often) mercurial measuring stick of the worthiness of our
pursuits.

Is bank financing becoming easier to come by for M&A deals?
I believe that, in 2010, bank financing will continue to become more readily available, albeit at reduced leverage ratios and at rates that reflect increased risk premiums, along with the imposition of strict loan covenants and more syndication among debt (and sub-debt) lenders on M&A deals. I do believe, however, that much M&A might be inhibited by a fundamental disconnect between seller and buyer: valuation. Those potential sellers who do not need to sell their businesses are benefiting from the tailwinds of a resurgence in the equity markets, which may be setting unrealistic valuation expectations on the part of many potential sellers.

Do you expect Warner Music Group and EMI to merge? If so, when? If not, why not?
From a regulatory standpoint, a merger is arguably more feasible than it has been. From a financial standpoint, a merger could create great value and that EMI’s Hands (pun intended) might be effectively forced. I’d expect that a merger is attempted in 2010.

For more info on this year's Music & Money Symposium, presented in association with Loeb & Loeb, visit Billboardevents.com. For more Better Know A Panelist Q&As click here.